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Decembee 15, 2017: Merry Christmas

Assembly 2017 footnotes:

Colonos dealt a full house…

PACKED WITH PURPOSE was the Colonos general assembly last Saturday in the ample Dreams Hotel Auditorium that sat 225 residents, four times more than the average attendance.  Several resounding votes ushered the community into what is hoped will be an improved and united way of sustaining a society by agreement. (Staff Photo)

Board seeks end to standoff
with developer on gate control

By Staff:
Reconciliation attempts surfaced in the aftermath of the 2017 annual Colonos assembly last Saturday as board Chairman Jorge Kaufer said he reached out to developer Roman Rivera Torres to  move toward settling the main gate controversy.

There was an assortment of goodies, including sushi, to keep the audience energized through the long meeting. (Staff Photo)

The developer, while receiving acknowledgements at the assembly for creating a unique community, was handed major defeats on two initiatives he championed, the firing of Kaufer by voters, and support for the 2016 undisclosed Taema agreement to essentially giving inhabitants of a separate development resident gate access to the resort and its amenities for a modest fee.

Kaufer was supported by 3,502 votes to retain his office while 714 favored his removal. Only two votes were cast in favor of continuing the Taema pact and more than 2000 against.

Board reaches out

“I spoke very briefly with Roman” Kaufer said Monday, “and I got a good feeling. We will work on the gate issue first and we are hopeful now…”  that the vote figures   will prompt a positive change in the developer’s strategies.

He added that the overwhelming measure of support for the Colonos board at the assembly was “not a waste of time and very good for our morale and, I think, for the community’s too.”

The board has been asking the developer for  a long-term accord guaranteeing control of gate access by the Colonos in  return for releasing $200,000 appropriated by voters last year to complete gate improvements. That project began in 2016 using $80,000 in Colonos funds. If there is no agreement, the Colonos board said it is preparing its options to nonetheless maintain control of access for the public  benefit..

Two volunteer to serve on board

As of this writing, Carlos Suarez, a condo administrator, will become the VC president to replace Rivera Torres, according to the other VC member, Timothy Howard, a retired mortgage finance executive who is not a full-time resident.

Toward the end of the assembly, two volunteers came forward to serve the remaining terms of two board members who resigned last month. Real estate agent Sally Evans and Jose Luis Leyva will serve out the remaining one-year terms. They join current board members Kaufer, chairman; Irma I. Ramos, treasurer and Daniele Gracis, secretary.

Developer tenders resignation
after
effort to oust Kaufer fails

Adding chairs to a full house. (Staff Photo)

The developer’s lengthy prosecution of Kaufer and the Colonos board before the assembly led to his own indictment in the assembly’s eyes, since he also was a voting member of the Colonos leadership for more than five years, a fact alluded to in Kaufer’s own defense comments.

The developer’s allegations of ineffective security did not sway voters and his complaint that Colonos abandonment of the developer’s original vision of an exclusive residential community was contradicted by his support for the Taema agreement. His intent to take temporary control of the main gate to fix access problems was, said Kaufer, essentially to resolve a private business problem. 

There were a few needless catcalls during thee developer’s delivery, as there were when  Gabriela “Gabi” Kozelji , owner/director of the private Colegio, attempted to reiterate from notes what essentially had already been said – but adding a threat to drop out of the Colonos Association if Kaufer retained his post.

Voters put support, grievances
under board’s Christmas tree

A fellow settler gives voice at the annual assembly. (Staff Photo)

The overwhelming assembly ballots cast in support of Colonos leadership underscored the dominance of the vote as a tool of the majority in deciding important civic, security and financial matters —provided voters remain concerned and communicate rational concepts at annual assemblies.

The more vocal voters in the audience last Saturday aired grievances ranging from youths illegally driving golf carts with impunity to people being disenfranchised by deadbeats, and other traditional urban shortfalls hat require the community’s attention. There were abundant comments on the need to enforce by-laws and policies where practical and possible.

Board members Gracis, Kaufer and Suarez offered rational defense for the several complex matters vexing the community in 2017 and pledged to continue to address them while grappling with other issues in the new year.

Colonos GM Armando Rincon said this week, prior to the first board meeting since the assembly vote, that the board is already preparing to address grievances brought forward by Sally Evans concerning the denial of ballots to paid-up voters because a neighbor has not paid dues. “We’re already working to try to correct that,” Rincon said.

A large number of residents contributed to the assembly conversation, including Angelo Mouzouropoulos, a retired international shipping executive who shared gate impasse details, Beatriz Marron, a former Colonos board chairwoman who imparted historical insights, Thierry Defauw, with questions on Phase 4 issues and dozens more.

Chac-Hal-Al, Colegio threaten
to opt out of Colonos association

They waited to get into the assembly, and now they wait for problems to be solved. (Staff Photo)

The process of solving problems often results in creating new ones, known as unintended consequences, and the Puerto Aventuras HOA annual assembly is vulnerable to the phenomenon. The iconic Chac-Hal-Al condo complex and the Colegio, both with ties to the developer, threatened at Saturday’s assembly to abandon the Colonos HOA if Kaufer and the board remained in charge, which they did.

Puerto Aventuras is required to conform to the laws of three levels of government, the rules of a special agreement with the municipality and the by-laws of the Colonos, the latter four being superseded by complex federal and constitutional regulations.

One scenario posits that if some entities opt out of the Colonos, the law says they can still be charged the same or similar fee for use of the roads and other services provided by the Colonos. And worse. They lose their Colonos vote and their voice in the assembly in helping decide the business of the community at large.

Keen observers of this fragile arrangement say if – that’s IF – jumping ship is an option that too many choose, the entire communi,y, as its residents now know it, will be in jeopardy.

Rincon said this week  the Colonos is already reaching out to Chac-Hal-Al residents and offering to hear their grievances at the group’s coming annual meeting. He said Colonos wants to work together to fix what they can or present a rationale of why they cannot.

 

The Mail Bag…

Rules we have, enforcement we need

Dear Editor:
After attending the Colonos meeting, I was happy the vote trying to remove the directors failed. One man seems to think he runs this place despite the fact that it is the owners who own Puerto. Giving thisman the run of the gate and security would create, in my mind, a dictatorship.
We have rules in place to address situations such as,f or example, underage kids racing around with golf carts, dogs not on leashes and on the beach. I have heard stories that security simply ignores complaints. If I were king I would bring a true security specialist to analyze what goes on here and insure that security absolutely enforces all of Colonos rules.
The Board, as said at the meeting, must have clear policies about gate admission and other things so no excuses can exist for not enforcing the rules. I thank the Board for all their time and the aggravation caused by one man not always getting his way.

Signed/Joseph Madrigrano

It’s season to appreciate each other

Dear Editor:
Jim Morrison wrote a nice letter anpiut Christmas last week. I hope it makes everyone appreciate Christmas or X-mas. Whatever it is, it is a wonderful time of the year to appreciate each other.

Signed/John Lacey

Chac-Hal-Al not troubled

Dear Editor:

I would like to take exception to the word “troubled” when describing Chac Hal Al. I have owned here since 2010 and although we did have some challenges to deal with, the complex is in excellent shape now.

Financial, physical buildings, pools and systems, management, maintenance, landscaping are all performing like the first class resort that it is. Given that it is arguably located on the best property in Puerto Aventuras and now that the beach is being restored to pre-erosion levels, things could not be better.

Oh, and our maintenance assessments continue to drop through careful planning and spending. The term “troubled” is far from an accurate way to describe Chac Hal Al today.

Signed/Peter Moulton

The Roundup…

Colegio students  from the last high school graduation class took first place statewide in mathematics proficiency in the standardized math and Spanish test. They came in 7th statewide in Spanish communication and first in the municipality…

Brrrr! Muy frio!

HOOD IS GOOD – Manuel A. Caballero appreciated his hooded shirt during last week’s cold spell. He drives to work at the Omni Gym on a motorcycle. (staff Photo)

Cold and colder – It was chilly enough Sunday morning when heading out to Sam’s Club for early shopping and braving the cool temperature in shorts and T-shirt. But it was so much colder (rhymes with older) inside Sam’s Club as we shopped that we decided to finish up at Soriana’s, where it was some degrees warmer. Bring a jacket or sweater if going to Sam’s so you can appreciate in comfort the chilling effort to keep food from spoiling. We are told  a record low temperature was reached this week at 13.2 C., or 55 degrees.

Speaking of colder and older, neurologist Jose Perez, speaking in Tulum, said life expectancy in Q. Roo is one of the highest in the nation at 82 years. The downside, said the doctor, is that the older people get, the more the health problems compounded by insufficient health care facilities…

Gun troubles fell upon a US woman from Detroit, when she tried to get through Cancun Airport’s Terminal 3 with a handgun in her luggage. Police say she did not have documentation or permit to possess a firearm and was arrested…

The rules we live by…or not!

(Page 16 of 22, unedited)

 ARTICLE 39.- The Associates Assemblies shall take place at the time and place indicated in the convocation.

ARTICLE 40.- The convocation for the celebration of the Assembly of Associates will be signed either the President or the Board’s President and Secretary, indicating the corresponding Agenda, and will be made as follows:

  1. Through notices sent to the associates’ addresses;
  2. Through notices posted invisible place;
  3. Through notices inserted in the newspaper of highest circulation in the Municipality of Cozumel, Quintana Roo.

All letters and notices must be issued at least 30 days prior to the date of celebration of the Assemblies.

ARTICLE 41.- General Assemblies of the Association shall be considered legal with the attendance of fifty-one percent of the total value represented by the votes of all associates in the Association.

In case there would be no quorum at the time set in the convocation, the corresponding entry will be recorded in the Minutes and an additional period of thirty minutes maximum

will be given, but after this time the Assembly will start with whatever percentage is present, this apart from any special quorum that may be required in the different cases indicated in these By-laws.

ARTICLE 42.– The decisions of the Assemblies are binding for every member of the Association, even those absent or disident.

ARTICLE 43.– Either the President or the Board’s President will have the obligation to call to a General Assembly whenever required by a group of the associates comprising at least fifty one percent of the Association’s membership, and failing to do so, the competent Civil Judge shall do so at the request of said members.

ARTICLE 44.– Each one of the Associates will have a vote with a value indicated in the Association’s By-laws. The votes will be counted by the tellers appointed to that affect, at the time of raising their ballot forms which will be given at the start of every Assembly and where the value of their vote will be indicated. Special voting is required in the following cases:

  1. Fifty-one percent of the total value of votes represented by the members present, for the execution of actions of ownership of goad and sixty-five percent of the total value represented by the votes of all associates members for actions of ownership of Real- Property;
  2. Fifty-one percent of the total value represented by the votes of all associates, for any modifications to the Deed of incorporation, and of the By-laws; and
  3. Sixty-five percent of the total value represented by the votes of all associates in the Association in writing, for the dissolution of the Association. (To be continued)

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays and by the 25th of each month during the summer schedule May-October. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites, logos or social media links.MAIL BAG POLICY – Limit comment to 300 words per writer , or 5 paragraphs of 60 words each. We reserve the right to edit for comprehension and to avoid personal, inaccurate or offensive material. Thank you.

The end – Previous edition below

December 8, 2017 – Merry Christmas!

“The world is run by those who show up” -Anonymous

What? Annual Colonos assembly;

When? Dec. 9, 2017 @ 9:30 a.m.;

Where? The Dreams Hotel

Notice: The hotel says that due to high occupancy, parking will be  at a premium and encourages residents to walk or bike to the assembly. 

Assembly Preview:

When it comes to taxes and fees,
what goes up …keeps going up

Colonos proposes 4 percent fee increase

By Staff
Scientists tell us, in theory, what goes up must come down. They obviously excluded taxes and fees in their assessment as Puerto Aventuras residents face a proposed 4.10 percent hike in Colonos fees at the Dec. 9 assembly (tomorrow) at 9:30 a.m. at the Dreams Hotel.

If approved, the fees will have resisted the law of gravity for six years, although this year’s extra bite is the second lowest of those years. Voters approved a 10 percent hike in 2013, then 8 percent in 2014, on to only 2.63 percent in 2015, followed by 8.56 percent in 1n 2016, then 9 percent in 2017 when voters agreed to substantially support Transformar Educando in the poblado.

The fee hike, if the budget is approved, represents a 2018 budget of $1,605, 167 or, adding $63,153 to last year’s budget of $1,542,004 in US dollars.

Four residents request time
to present issues of concern

According to the annual report, three residents will be given 10 minutes each to expound upon various topics. One more will get 30 minutes, 10 minutes each on three topics.

A one-man crusade for modification of land usage (zoning) and lack of enforcement of the municipal building codes will continue from previous years in the person of Octavio del Rio.

Sally Wood Evans will propose modification of the rule governing payment of maintenance fees for town houses. Eduardo Said will comment on the status of the land that was to be used for the second nine holes of the golf course or a public park.

Thierry Defauw has three views to share. One is about who can enter through the PA gates and should fees be charged. Second is to enclose all electrical high-voltage boxes to prevent damage and injury and last, clear up whether Phase 4 is  part of the  Colonos or not and if not, why are owners there paying fees?

Decide if valid reason to fire
the volunteer Colonos chair

While developer and Fideicomiso Roman Rivera Torres is expected to outline his previously written reasons for seeking the resignation of Colonos chairman Jorge Kaufer, it will be up  to voters who attend the assembly to decide whether there is any cause to do so. (See previous Pelican issues for background).

The developer has also called for the resignation of Colonos GM Armando Rincon, who cannot be fired by voters, but only by the board that Kaufer chairs. It is said, however, that if Kaufer is voted out, a new board with different leanings could possibly consider Rincon’s departure.

Tomorrow’s  assembly (Dec. 9 at 9:30, at the Dreams Hotel) offers a rare opportunity for voters themselves to actually settle some serious issues by the democratic vote.

What will voters choose to do
with a dandy $200,000 USD?

That amount was appropriated by last year’s assembly for improvements to the main gate grounds and building, which is owned by the Fideicomiso. A separate feud led to a demand by the Fideicomiso for the Colonos to relinquish gate control back to the Fideicomso.

That resulted in a protective withdrawal of the improvement funds by Colonos until the Fideicomiso  signed a 10-year contract guaranteeing Colonos gate control in return for spending  the public’s money on improving Fideicomiso’s property.

Voters again will exercise the power of the vote when the question is presented at the assembly to choose between three alternatives:

One is to spend public money on the project regardless of who controls the gate and without any legitimate, long-term guarantees over control of access.

Two is to place the funds in an investment account and begin the gate project if and when a long-term free-use contract is signed by the Fideicomiso, thus guaranteeing the investment.

Three is to return the money to whom it belongs, the fee payers, and appropriate funds for the gate at a future assembly if voters still think it is necessary to improve the gate.

Voters can decide whether
to open gates to Taema   

Taema is a large, emerging housing development across the highway that wants its residents to have free reign of the Puerto Aventuras resort for a $77 annual fee and to also use the resident gates to move freely in and out of the resort.

The agreement was quietly signed last year and discovered recently by resort residents who were infuriated by the lack of concern for them and the problems of already inadequate resort infrastructure, they said.

The agreement was lobbied in the Colonos by the Fideicomiso and quietly signed last year by Fideicomiso and the Colonos board.

The board has since apologized to residents and has admitted that signing the agreement was a mistake made without considering density and infrastructure impact. The board now wants voters to decide whether the agreement should remain or be canceled

The Roundup…

The 58th murder of the year in Solidaridad attributable to organized crime was reported in the Puerto Aventuras poblado late Wednesday morning at a site between Viveros,  the main road,  and Guayaba Streets. The victim, believed to be a former municipal official  according to identification found at the scene, had been shot twice in the chest.

Centro Maya accident – A woman. 30, suffered a fractured leg and other injuries when she tried crossing the street at an entrance to the mall Wednesday and was struck by an approaching vehicle she evidently did not see. Police are urging caution to pedestrians in busy traffic areas to be doubly alert as activity increases during the tourist/holiday season…

The Mail Bag…

Boaters, marina take positive steps forward

Dear Editor: 
I am pleased to report that on Dec. 6, 2017, the five boat-owning companies representing some 25 commercial vessels gave me a document containing a well prepared and comprehensive offer for presentation to Arq. Roman Rivera Torres, Fideicomiso of Puerto Aventuras resort, relating to their longstanding dispute with the Fideicomiso subsidiary that operates the two marinas in Puerto Aventuras.

Arq. Roman interrupted his very busy schedule and agreed to meet with me that same evening. He took delivery of the offer and said it would be considered by the Fideicomiso and its legal advisers.  He also informed me that I can expect a counter-offer  by the close of business on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, for consideration by the commercial vessel owners.

You will recall that there had been a breakdown in the negotiations between the parties since March 2017. I therefore wish to thank all concerned for renewing their efforts to resolve this dispute, which is at the core of so many of the issues currently dividing our community, such as the control of the main gate, security, resignation of Colonos board members, etc.

Although it is far too early to anticipate the outcome of these efforts, we should nevertheless view this as a welcome positive step forward in the right direction.

Signed/Angelo Mouzouropoulos
(Ed. Note: Mr. Mouzouropoulos has volunteered his time and talents to assist the parties in taking promising steps forward.)

 Making Christmas bright

Dear Editor:
I would like to comment on an article that Mr. Moore commented on in the most recent issue of the Pelican free press. Many years ago when I was in grade 2 or 3 we were taught by a nun whose name was Sister Mary Daniel.

She too was deeply offended by those who abbreviated the word Christmas. She insisted we write it out in full. So I did that for the next 50 years or so and still do. However, I was telling this story to another nun, Sister Eileen, at a little Christmas get together a few years ago.

Sister Eileen told me a story that doesn’t change the way I write Christmas but it does change the way I view it when I see it written as X-mas.

Apparently, the Greek symbol for Christ is X and I think it also has a shepherd’s staff running vertically through it as well but that isn’t shown very often. Sister felt that most, and perhaps all, were not trying to aggravate me in any way by what appears to be eliminating Christ in Christmas but are rather just using a symbol for Christ. I thought it was a nice explanation and was a help to me and I hope it is to you as well. Merry Christmas to all,
Signed/Jim Morrison.

What’s Happening ?

The annual Colonos employee party for some 42 employees will be held in a poblado location on Friday, Dec 15 and the colonos is reminding residents it appreciates gifts, or cash donations to buy gifts, for the employee raffle, a highlight of the annual event. The gifts can be left at the Colonos office during regular working hours and can include household items and gifts for children and that families can enjoy together.

Recycling will be held at the skate park on Dec. 15.

Paamul Services to Others Committee’s (PSOC)  annual Charity Garage Sale will be held at David’s Store at the 307 entrance to Paamul on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018.  This event will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until mid-afternoon.  Have fun shopping and knowing  you are helping provide basic needs of residents in our villages. currently Chumpon, in Quintana Roo, Santa Clara, Kulunche and San Pedro in Yucatan state…

Time for “Friendly Feud” following a contentious general assembly Dec.. 9 will be launched as a regular feature at Latitude 20 Restaurant and Bar on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 3:30 p.m. Proceeds go to the poblado community center. Bring your own boxing gloves…

The 10th annual road race is on tap for Jan. 21. Runners can get more information at the Colonos office or its website by clicking on the Colonos logo in the upper right-hand corner of this page…

 

The rules we live by…or not!

(Page 15 of 22, unedited)

CHAPTER XII

OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLIES OF ASSOCIATES

ARTICLE 38.- The General Assembly of Associates is the highest controlling body of the Association. General Assemblies may be either Ordinary or Extraordinary, Ordinary ones to be held at least once a year and the Extraordinary ones whenever  so required, and they will deal with the following issues:

  1. Election of either a President or a Board of Directors and a Vigilance celebration of the Assemblies.
    Committee;
  2. Presentation of the activities program;
  3. The annual income and expense budget;
  4. General Balance sheet and Income and Expenses Statements corresponding to the fiscal year ending, its discussion and approval if such is the case;
  5. The report of activities;
  6. The approval of the assessments proposed by the Board of Directors, and the moratory interest;
  7. The approval of the internal rules and regulations of the Association.
  8. The expelling of any associate and the exercise of the actions stated in article 13 of these bylaws.
  9. The execution of actions of ownership over any goods:
  10. The agreement on and approval of thee fees to be paid the President or the members of the Board of Directors.
  11. The Extraordinary Assembly:

a). The execution of actions of ownership over any Real-Property of the Association;

b).  The   reports  and opinions of the Vigilance Committee;

c).  The  issue  of the internal rules and regulations of the Association. as well as modifications there to;

d). Modifications to the Bylaws;

e).   Modifications  to the Deed of incorporation; and

f).   The dissolution of the Association. (To be continued)

 

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays and by the 25th of each month during the summer schedule May-October. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites, logos or social media links.MAIL BAG POLICY – Limit comment to 300 words per writer , or 5 paragraphs of 60 words each. We reserve the right to edit for comprehension and to avoid personal, inaccurate or offensive material. Thank you.

The end – Previous edition below

 

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